Message from the DSW Program Director

So, why have we introduced a new kind of DSW? 

We feel the need is great.  The expansion of bachelor’s and master’s programs in social work nationally has created a strong demand for faculty who hold doctorates.  Dr. Barbara Shank, in her roles as Chair/Dean of our School of Social Work (1982 - 2017) and CSWE Board Chair (2013 - 2016; 2016-2019), recognized that the nation’s doctoral programs are not graduating enough individuals to replace retiring faculty or to staff the expansion of social work programs nationwide.  We developed this program in response to inquiries from our graduates and others in the social work field who were interested in pursuing a doctorate and careers in higher education, specifically in teaching-intensive universities.

This is the nation’s first online program specifically designed for those with a master of social work degree who are either currently teaching at the bachelor’s or master’s level - or plan to do so - and who are seeking a doctorate in order to further develop the skills needed to excel as teachers and advance in their university careers. Most universities have moved beyond the requirement of the MSW as the terminal degree for most tenure-track positions. To help fill this gap, our doctoral program focuses on teaching, scholarship, service and leadership, rather than a traditional focus on research or advanced clinical practice.

Strong practitioners, adjunct faculty and clinical faculty need teaching skills, writing and publication skills, full understanding and integration of the roles of the professoriate, and credentials to confidently teach and lead in university settings. We prepare graduates for leadership and scholarly roles in social work education who will become the stewards of our discipline.

We look forward to working with you as you explore our Doctorate in Social Work program!

Catherine Marrs Fuchsel, MSW, PhD, LCSW, LICSW
DSW Program Director
St. Catherine University - University of St. Thomas School of Social Work